John Welsey: The Capitalist and Fan of Godonomics (who would be sadly disappointed in the Methodist church today).
“We must exhort all Christians to gain all they can and to save all they can; that is, in effect grow rich.” Wesley insisted. Yet the corollary was that this gaining of wealth was to allow the Christian man to “give all he can to those in need.” ~ In Search of God and Guiness.
That’s Godonomics. That’s common sense. It’s modeled by Lydia, Boaz, Barnabas, Proverbs 31 woman, and the early church. John Wesley’s pro-rich (meaning, make lots of money) quote would be considered blasphemous today by progressives anti-capitalistic tendencies.
The Methodist church, which I love and had a huge impact on my life, has lost her way. I have several staff members with long histories in the Methodist church. I have told the powerful story of John Wesley’s conversion, revivals, and work in England and America in sermons over the years.
It saddens me to see the Methodist church lose its way in its continual steering into the ditch of liberal theology as well as progressive social justice.
As always, most of the inflammatory “us vs. them” comments come from a misunderstanding of the call to generosity. Social justice was once a call to radical, generous, individual giving as powerfully modeled by Wesley and others in the Methodist church. The call to help the poor resonates through every page of the Bible as we “do unto God” like we “do unto the least of these.” The past 50 years, the term social justice has been hijacked by Marxist-type thinkers trying to turn Jesus and the Bible into a pro-socialism handbook.
I never use the term social justice today because it has become a code philosophy for large intrusive government that steals from one group to give to another. Words change definitions over time. Take Gentlemen. C.S. Lewis notes that there was a time you would heard someone says, “He is a scoundrel and a gentleman.” At that time the word gentleman meant someone who owned land. The word gentleman like social justice has changed meanings in our culture today.
It would be wrong to presume that Welsey, me, and other Bible-minded Capitalists are not radically pro-generous. Rich people have more than they need for themselves. Poor people do not. We need more prosperous people. We need more successful people. We need people who see business, economics, and innovation as a means to bless others.
While most Methodists I know (and I am friends with many) do not subscribe to the “new and improved” Gospel often associated with the new generation of Social Progressive Methodists, there are many who are falling prey.
While in Bible college, we studied liberation theology. I had never heard of it back in 1992. It was rightly taught as a cult. Oooops! I said the “c” word: a cult. Before you “have a cow,” let me define what a cult is. A cult is a group that denies the deity of Christ, changes the main message of the Gospel, and is often centered around one central character. Liberation theology turns the Gospel: (Jesus came to save us from our sins and rescue us from God’s fair righteous judgment) into Marxism (Jesus came to liberate the socially impoverished to be better off by revolting against the rich). Hmmmm? In the words of Robin Williams from DEAD POET SOCIETY… “Excrement. Rip it out” This theology is utter nonsense. Not only is it wrong, it is not Biblical. Ironically, the Gospel (Jesus was rich, but became poor to save us from our sins) is the real motivation for whole hearted generosity.
Liberation Theology is really Enslaving Theology. You become enslaved to judgment, envy, jealousy, and hatred of those-with-more. The Gospel is the real liberation theology. You are liberated from judgment, jealousy, hatred, and see everyone as spiritually bankrupt in need of the same Savior you found.
For more information, check out www.godonomics.com